Friday, October 03, 2014

This Weekend in College Football: Week 6

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.

  • Ohio State @ Maryland (ABC): At least judging from results, both these teams really above even. Which means we have to go deeper, and that's where it starts to fall apart for the Terps.
  • Texas Agricultural and Mechanical @ Mississippi State (ESPN): While Miss State was able to prevail against LSU last weekend, I thought (and still presently think) TAMU was better anyway, struggles with Arkansas aside. It's fair to say the Bulldogs haven't seen anything like what TAMU is going throw at them (in some cases, literally) and I'm not sure they can keep up.
  • Purdue @ Illinois (ESPN2): Illinois is... bad but Purdue is just so inept that it's basically impossible to pick them.
  • Iowa State @ Oklahoma State (FS1): Iowa State is still terrible, so at least some things are constant.
  • Southern Methodist @ East Carolina (ESPNU): SMU has been one of the worst teams in football so far this year, while ECU has lived up to their darkhorse billing. I don't think it's going to end well for the 'stangs.
  • Marshall @ Old Dominion (FSN): I thought ODU was pretty alright, but they lost to MTSU last week, so I'm going to go with Marshall getting to 5-0.
  • Ball State @ Army (CBSS): Army, when you lose games to Yale, I'm going to have a hard time picking you even against 1-3 MAC teams. That's just the way it is. I'm sorry.
  • Florida @ Tennessee (SEC): Given all the vitriol, you probably wouldn't think that Florida is 2-1 with that one loss coming to Alabama, but yeah it's hard to disagree with the idea that Will Muschamp isn't going to last the season. Meanwhile, the conventional wisdom is that the Volunteers look leagues better this year, even if it's not reflected in the results. Well, here's your chance Vols, now reach out and grab it.
12:30: Virginia Tech @ North Carolina (ACC): When it comes to the ACC Coastal, no one is ever truly out of it, at least not in the first week of October. So both these teams have chances to recover from exceedingly disappointing starts. That said, UNC has looked downright bad so far, while VPI has at least been competitive in their two losses. Going with the Hokies.

2:30: North Texas @ Indiana (BTN): Ah, Indiana. One week you're beating Missouri, the next you're losing decisively to Maryland. What do I do with you? I'll still pick you to beat North Texas, I just wish I could feel better about it.

  • Stanford @ Notre Dame (NBC): Stanford is awful in the red zone, but the reality of this game is that I don't think either offense is going to factor much into it. I actually have the Cardinal in this one.
  • Alabama @ Mississippi (CBS): This is likely the biggest game in Oxford in... a long time. Nonetheless, it's hard to see how Ole Miss stacks up against the Alabama machine, especially now that it has a legitimately threatening offense. If Ole Miss is going to prevail, though, it'll be against the seemingly-suspect Alabama secondary.
  • Oklahoma @ Texas Christian (FOX): Boy howdy, lots of undefeated teams playing each other this weekend, but that's the magic of conference play. Not that either of these teams has a feather in their cap, per se. TCU is only allowing 7 points per game, but they've only played three games and one of those was against SMU. The Sooners seem more legit overall, but I guess we'll find out out for sure.
  • Baylor @ Texas (ABC): I wish I could go back in time and tell my younger self that he'd pick Baylor in a game at Texas and not really even think twice about it.
  • Wake Forest @ Florida State (ABC): Florida State has found ways to make it interesting against Wake in the past, but as usual no sane person would ever call it.
  • Wisconsin @ Northwestern (ESPN2): About the only chance for Northwestern here is to build up a big lead early and try to force Wisconsin out of their ground-and-pound game plan. This seems... unlikely.
  • North Carolina State @ Clemson (ESPNU): Both these teams have relatively fresh close losses to Florida State possibly on their minds. NC State and the antics of Jacoby Brissett electrified many last weekend, while Clemson had many opportunities and let them slip away. Overall, I still think Clemson is the better team, and they will need to play like to salvage their season.
  • Navy @ Air Force (CBSS): Air Force posted a solid win over Boise State last week, which signaled two things. One, Boise is probably coming back down to Earth. Two, Air Force is pretty good again, while Navy has struggled at times this year, most recently posting a loss to Western Kentucky. Air Force are definitely my favorites right now to win the Commander-in-Chief's trophy.
  • Kansas @ West Virginia (FSN): I keep having to remember that Charlie Weis was the head coach at Kansas, and just when I realized that, they fire him! Thanks for nothing, Jayhawks. Also, WVU wins in a walkover.
  • Vanderbilt @ Georgia (SEC): Todd Gurley has 610 yards rushing on the season. Vanderbilt has 510. This does not bode well for the Commodores.
  • Oregon State @ Colorado (Pac12): There's nothing that really makes me sure that Oregon State has an edge over the Buffs, but... it's just that I'm not going to call Colorado to win anything until proven otherwise.
  • Louisiana State @ Auburn (ESPN): The yearly edition of Tigers vs. Tigers is back. I think the Auburn offense is still just too good for LSU to keep up, especially after the issues they showed against Miss State a couple weekends ago.
  • Texas Tech @ Kansas State (ESPNU): K-State's offense is potent enough to exploit the truly awful Red Raiders defense.
  • Memphis @ Cincinnati (CBSS): So Cincy went out for their first real game last week and got shellacked by Ohio State. Meanwhile, Memphis is 2-2, with the expected result against Ole Miss and a surprisingly game loss to UCLA. Nonetheless, still difficult to pick them here, so going with Cincy.
  • Michigan @ Rutgers (BTN): I almost have to think the Wolverines are relieved this game isn't taking place in Ann Arbor. It's a bit late to weigh in on this now, but the handling of what happened in game last weekend and afterward is nothing short of an unmitigated disaster. On the field, the Michigan offense is as well. Rutgers isn't good or anything, but they're certainly going to be more into this game than Michigan probably is.
  • Arizona State @ Southern California (FOX): That loss to Boston College will probably continue to be a bit of an albatross for USC. Arizona State just got pasted last week by UCLA, but I'm not sure they're really that bad? Still going to pick USC, but I don't feel at all good about it.
  • Miami @ Georgia Tech (ESPN2): It would be wonderful if we could flash back to 2008 for a second, eh?

    I picked that spot because it shows a good job of the kind of holes we had that night. Of course, since then, Tech has dropped every contest to Miami, usually due to just plain superior talent. Can we prevail this year? I honestly have no idea. Miami certainly was able to leverage their talent against Duke, and Duke Johnson is as advertised. Meanwhile, Tech finally had a decent game against VPI, but I wouldn't exactly want to play against FSU or Alabama or someone right now, either.
  • South Carolina @ Kentucky (SEC): Kentucky may be just what South Carolina needs right now.
  • Pittsburgh @ Virginia (ACC/RSN): Going into the year, I thought for sure I wouldn't pick UVA in any game. Yet it's Pitt with the inexplicable loss to Akron, so here we are.
  • Nebraska @ Michigan State (ABC): The best two teams in the Big Ten face off, and it's not really even close. Against their schedules so far, both these teams have dominated on both sides of the ball (with the exception of Sparty's loss to Oregon), so this is will be a real test for both. I'm going with Sparty, but that's mostly just a guess.
  • Nevada-Las Vegas @ San Jose State (ESPNEWS): Both these teams are bad, but SJSU has been slightly less bad.
  • Utah @ California-Los Angeles (ESPN): So the Utes followed up their triumph against Michigan with... a loss to Washington State. Whoops. At any rate, this game could be close, but I expect UCLA to pull it out.
  • Boise State @ Nevada (CBSS): I think I actually like Nevada here? Maybe?
  • California @ Washington State (Pac12): I HOPE YOU LIKE POINTS. Saturday night, Pullman, anything could happen. Well, anything involving offense, anyway. A perfect nightcap, if you ask me. Going with Wazzou here.

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