First off how about the Ole Miss Rebels! If you read my recent article about who was the best .500 football team in the country, I strategically said it would be decided in that Ole Miss/Auburn game.
The picks made an improvement this past week, although it wasn’t as much as I would’ve liked. I finished the week 3-3, but with two devastating last minute losses. Michigan looked to have won in West Lafayette before falling apart on a last minute hook-and-ladder play that mirrored the heroics put on in the Fiesta Bowl by Boise State a few years ago. Although Purdue really has nothing left to play for, I guess they thought ruining my Big Ten pick for the week would be worth while. The other loss came on a Florida State fumble into the end zone, which was recovered by Georgia Tech to seal the game. Missouri just flat out stunk against Baylor and narrowly avoided an upset.
The picks this week will be done as usual, a pick against the spread from a game in each of the “Big Six” conferences using the lines from sportsbook.com. There are some very decisive games coming up this Saturday, which should make for an interesting set of picks this week. Conf: ACC
Game: Georgia Tech @ North Carolina
Line: North Carolina -4
Analysis: This is a huge game to say the least. The ACC is so indecisive this year, and it seems that no team wants to step up and take a leadership role. That being said, I like Georgia Tech to win this one because of their defensive line. No one wants to face a Paul Johnson offense, and even though the Tarheels are not shabby on defense, Georgia Tech will definitely put up some points. The big question is how will a young quarterback and offensive line be able to handle a stout GT defense? I really don’t think they will. I feel like Georgia Tech will handle the running game and be able to force some turnovers through the North Carolina passing game. In the end, I feel like Georgia Tech will pull this one out, if not, four points is more than a reasonable amount for a Paul Johnson squad to lose by.
Pick: Georgia Tech +4
Conf: Big 12
Game: Kansas State @ Missouri
Line: Missouri -27
Analysis: This is a strange game, but ultimately I have to go with the Wildcats of Kansas State. Missouri really let me down against Baylor last week, but after looking back on it, I can definitely see how. Mizzou just doesn’t have a defense. I have tons of respect for Chase Daniel, Maclin, and the boys, but you cannot win without a defense. Do I think Kansas State will win? No, but I think they can put up enough points to keep it “respectable”. (And by respectable I mean within 27 points.)
Pick: Kansas State +27
Conf: Big East
Game: Louisville @ Pittsburgh
Line: Pittsburgh -6
Analysis: The Big East is turning out to be a pretty interesting race, and if Pitt wants to remain apart of the “race talk” this game is a must win. After a tough loss, they rebounded to beat the Irish in South Bend during a four overtime thriller. Louisville is pretty down this year, but has managed mediocrity throughout the season. After seeing LeSean McCoy run through the Irish in the second half, I have to think we will see more of the same against Louisville. The Panther running game will prove too much for an undersized Louisville squad, and Pitt will get a much needed home victory to remain in the Big East hunt.
Pick: Pittsburgh -6
Conf: Big Ten
Game: Ohio State @ Northwestern
Line: Ohio State -11
Analysis: I really don’t understand this line. I guess it is too cliche’ for a guy like myself. Historically, Ohio State is 1-4 coming off of a bye week during the Jim Tressel era. Northwestern is coming home after a road victory at an improved Minnesota team. All this considered, I’m not sold. It seems as if the oddsmakers forgot that Northwestern got beat two weeks ago at Indiana. On top of this, I’m not quite sold on Minnesota. Ohio State is too talented to only be favored by this much heading into Evanston, Illinois. Ohio State will wind up in a BCS bowl and Northwestern will get beat bad this weekend. I think the Buckeyes may win by four touchdowns.
Pick: Ohio State -11
Game: California @ USC
Line: USC -20.5
Analysis: I complain every week about having to pick a game from this garbage conference. I’m not an annual west coast hater, but this year who isn’t? Anyone who cannot see how down this conference is needs to borrow a pair of Jim Tressel bifocals. (I hope everyone can see the irony in that statement considering his debacle when visiting the Trojans and Pete Carroll.) In all seriousness, USC has to be killing people this time of year to help their BCS chances, and they’ve showed that the last two weeks. Even though they played the state of Washington the last two weeks, I think we can expect more of the same from the Trojans. I feel like three touchdowns is within reason for USC, and although California is coming off a win against Oregon, they’re not going to be prepared for the hurt the “football gods” are about to send down on them. Another runaway victory for USC while making their conference look even more sluggish at the same time.
Game: Georgia @ Kentucky
Line: Georgia -10.5
Analysis: After watching the Bulldogs get demolished by Florida, some may question this pick. The reason for me making this pick is because I have a lot of belief in Mark Richt. He, of all coaches, has the ability to turn his team around after a devastating loss. (Refer back to the big win at LSU after losing to the Crimson Tide at home.) Kentucky is much worse than their record shows. After winning very close games at Arkansas and Mississippi State the Wildcats have become bowl eligible for the third straight year. I’m sure everyone in Lexington is very happy, but with four “gimme” games to open the season, this is to be expected. Georgia should come in with a chip on their shoulder and try to salvage a respectable season. Look for Georgia to roll over UK in Lexington.
Pick: Georgia -10.5