Hot Routes: Week Eleven

9 Nov

Editor’s Note:  This is the Swanky roundup of our top picks and songs of the week, running every week of the 2012 Year of Football.  For a primer, check out the Introduction.

Week Eleven


Texas A&M (7-2) at Alabama (9-0)

The pick:  Texas A&M (+13.5)

The track:  December 4th (Sourface Remix) by Jay-Z

Sourfacetakes Jay’s Black Album track on a triumphant journey back to the 70s, with a warm old-school beat marked by swelling strings and defiant trumpet bursts.  The production of the remix mirrors the themes and tonal shifts of the lyrics, pushing this release above most of the over hip-hop remixes constantly being released.  Warm, soulful vibes are paired with Jay’s retrospective rhymes, and the result is a mix that sounds polished and natural – as if Jay’s original release was actually just a modern take on an old-school cut.


Kansas State (9-0) at TCU (6-3)

The pick:  TCU (+7.5)

The track:  Take A Walk (Classixx Remix) by Passion Pit

Both of these teams are coming into their Week 11 matchup with meaningful questions surrounding the quarterback position.  Collin-with-two-Ls- Klein got rocked in last week’s game against Oklahoma State, and wasn’t allowed to re-enter the game after the hit.  He pretty clearly had some form of a concussion, so his status and capabilities for this week are up in the air.  If he can’t go or can’t play at his customary level, then TCU’s defense could take advantage in front of a lively home crowd.  TCU, meanwhile, has been starting a redshirt QB for the past month, and while he’s been serviceable, he’s also an inexperienced freshman going up against the No. 2 team in the country.  A lot of things could go wrong – but I think the homefield advantage keeps TCU within a TD.


Utah (4-5) at Washington (5-4)

The pick:  UW (+1)

The track:  Mouthful of Diamonds by Phantogram

I’m well behind on the Phantogram tip, but later is still better than never, especially when it comes to dynamic and seductive songs like “Mouthful of Diamonds.”  Like many of Phantogram’s tracks, “Diamonds” melds together aspects of hip-hop, electronic beats, and polished indie-rock to create a sound that is both propulsive and brooding.  It sounds as if the Postal Service got drunk at a hip-hop show and found some swagger to replace some of the tears.


Denver (5-3) at Carolina (2-6)

The pick:  Carolina (+4.5)

The track:  I Will Dare by The Replacements

The Replacements were one of those hallowed, ‘underground pioneer’ bands that I ended up reading quite a bit about before ever actually hearing their music.  Whether it was through perusing indie-rock retrospectives or interviews in which current bands cited them as a huge influence, The Replacements were slowly built up in my mind as a raw, bruising rock band that could be called a ‘punk band’ over any other classification.  Imagine my surprise, then, when I cued up Let It Be and the first thing I hear is this shimmery, buoyant-sounding song called “I Will Dare.”  Since it is the Replacements, “Dare” pairs pop elements with a welcome edge; the result is a great song that captures a drunken and defiant rock energy.


Atlanta (8-0) at New Orleans (3-5)

The pick:  Atlanta (-2.5)

The track:  Glawio by Com Truise

It’s been said many times over the last few weeks, but it bears repeating for this game at least: Atlanta is getting very little respect as an undefeated team.  There’s no other way to describe the line on this game being under 3 right now.  Sure, it’s a home game for the Saints, but they play in a dome just like the Falcons do.  And while the Saints looked good against a catastrophic Eagles team last week, their defense remains highly suspect, and they’re now going up against the high-powered ground-and-air attack of Matty Ice and the Falcons.  Even if Drew Brees manages to put up some points, the Saints and their D have an uphill battle.  They won’t make it within 3.


New York Jets (3-5) at Seattle (5-4)

The pick: Seattle (-6)

The track:  The Party & The After Party by The Weeknd

As The Weeknd prepares to release his major-label debut this month, why not take the chance to look back at how this soft-spoken artist built up white-hot online buzz over the last two years.  Some of his early notoriety had to do with the mysterious persona he initially cultivated, but all it takes is a listen to some of his tracks from House of Balloons and you know exactly why he took the music world by storm.  On songs like “The Party,” the crooner crafts tales of drugs, sex, and models that sound dangerous, seductive, and weirdly nasty.  These are meant for rainy nights and early mornings, and they won’t leave your head.

Last Week’s Record:  4-2

Overall Record:  32-26


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