After two miserable weeks of picking games, I bounced back pretty well last week (8-4-1). This week’s slate of games features some pretty favorable lines. All I can hope for is that the weather holds up where these games are being played and that the coaches of the teams I pick don’t all of a sudden show mercy for outmanned opponents. As tempted as I am to take Michigan to clobber Michigan State, I am unveiling a new rule this week; I will never pick a Michigan State game again. Those cats are just way too unpredictable. Plus, should Michigan State pull off the upset of the century this weekend, the last thing I need is to get a double whammy by losing one of my picks. That would be too much to take.
Season record to date: 33-27-1
(Home team in CAPS; My picks in Bold)
Louisville -29 MIDDLE TENNESSEE
I thought Middle Tennessee was going to cover against Oklahoma earlier this year. Boy was I wrong. After a 59-0 drubbing by the Sooners, this line seems to favor Louisville.
Pittsburgh -6 SYRACUSE
Pittsburgh is the kind of team that either loses, or wins big. If you’re equal to or better than Pittsburgh, you will win. If you are worse than Pittsburgh, you will get smoked. Syracuse is worse than Pittsburgh.
TEXAS -3.5 Oklahoma
I think Texas has more depth than Oklahoma and a more potent offense. I wouldn’t be shocked by anything that happens in this game but Oklahoma has struggled too much on “O” against good defenses so I’ll take Texas.
Virginia +6.5 EAST CAROLINA
Virginia pasted Duke last week. That doesn’t say too much but I think this team is getting better. It may not win this game but it’s difficult to think that Virginia will get blown out by ECU.
South Carolina -5.5 KENTUCKY
South Carolina is due for a blow out sooner or later. Kentucky gave up a million points to Central Michigan last week. SC’s defense should stifle Kentucky’s offense.
Missouri +4.0 TEXAS TECH
From what I’ve seen thus far, Missouri is better than Texas Tech. So, it only makes sense to take the Tigers +4.
CALIFORNIA -6 Oregon
California hasn’t beaten Oregon by more than one point since 1991. It doesn’t seem like this is the year for that to change. Oregon is good. So is Cal. It should be close.
Tennessee -1 GEORGIA
In all likelihood, Tennessee has a better team than Georgia. The Bulldogs get this game at home and they get Joe Tereshinski back from injury. I don’t think either of those factors is enough to go with Georgia.
BOISE STATE -33 Louisiana Tech
Louisiana Tech just got slaughtered by Clemson. In fact, the Bulldogs have lost all three of its D-1 games this year by at least 31 points. None of those teams it lost to can hold a candle to Boise State at home. This one should get ugly early.
HAWAII -7 Nevada
I was all set to take Nevada in this game until I looked up the history. Check out the last three times Nevada has played at Hawaii:
2004 Hawaii 48 Nevada 26
2002 Hawaii 59 Nevada 34
2000 Hawaii 37 Nevada 17
Now check out the last three times they played at Nevada:
2005 Nevada 38 Hawaii 28
2003 Nevada 24 Hawaii 14
2001 Nevada 28 Hawaii 21
It seems to me that it doesn’t matter how good either team is rather where the game is played. They are at Hawaii this year. Let’s see if this trend continues.
AIR FORCE -2.5 Navy
If there’s a team that knows how to play Navy defensively, it’s probably Air Force. Also, I doubt Navy would’ve finished anywhere near one point of Tennessee in Knoxville.
AUBURN -15 Arkansas
When Auburn plays a weaker SEC team at home, things get ugly for the opposition. Auburn burned me last week but they were at South Carolina and got bamboozled when Steve Spurrier unveiled a new mobile quarterback.
West Virginia -20.5 MISSISSIPPI
I do not have a lot of confidence in Mississippi State’s ability to stop WVU’s spread running game. I fear that the Mountaineers might be getting bored of playing such inferior competition but they will get up for a road SEC game even it is just MSU.