Getting on with it! Here are my college football picks for Week 14 (Conference Championship Week). Enjoy!
Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles @ Houston Cougars (-14)
The Cougars have killed me one too many time for me not to take them here. It seemed like my value meter had them taking a hit for like five straight weeks – but obviously, I ended up taking the hit. Right now their offense is too ridiculously explosive to go against them in a game that should very well score over 100 total points. Crazy, these Cougs! I’ll take them, finally.
Connecticut Huskies (+9.5) @ Cincinnati Bearcats
I don’t think the Bearcats are much better than the Huskies. Connecticut does well against teams like Cinci, and I think they stick with them enough here to make it a game. Goodness the Big East is bad.
Texas Longhorns (+3) @ Baylor Bears
I like the Bears and I sure hope they win – it’s just that they played perfect last week and I don’t see it happening again. Texas can really run the ball and that consistency, along with a couple big plays on defense, should give the Longhorns the upset.
Georgia Bulldogs @ LSU Tigers (-13.5) *
The Bulldogs have been very good down the stretch here. But they aren’t LSU or Alabama good. There are only two teams like that. Expect LSU to continue on their demolition of every team but ‘Bama.
New Mexico Lobos @ Boise State Broncos (-49)
This might be the definition of crazy, taking a team to win by more than 7 touchdowns – but I’ve been know to take a wild stab or two. My thinking is this, last regular season game for the Moore, he goes off for like 8 touchdowns like a boss.
Oklahoma Sooners (+3.5) @ Oklahoma State Cowboys
I’m not sure which of these teams is better, but I watched Oklahoma State play last time they had a National Championship on the line – and that looked gross.
Virginia Tech Hokies @ Clemson Tigers (+7)*
The Hokies have been playing great and the Tigers have really hit a lull – but can Clemson really continue to turn the all over like they have the last 4 games? I don’t think they do, and because of that, I think they keep this one close.
Wisconsin Badgers @ Michigan State Spartans (+10)*
The Spartans won outright last time, even though Wisconsin looked like the better team to me. I know the Spartans usually poo themselves late in the year, so that could happen here. I just think they might be ready to take that next step and come to play. Plus, come on, the Badgers defense just isn’t very good.
Michigan State Spartans @ Nebraska Cornhuskers Free Pick & Preview: This is a big game for both programs. There’s no doubt that there’s more riding on this game for the Spartans, but Nebraska would like to put a little stamp on their first season in the Big 10, and a good way to do that would be by upsetting the newly crowned top dog in the conference. With Sparty’s win over Wisconsin last weekend, Michigan State jumped ahead of everybody else in the Big 10, possibly earning themselves a Title shot if things go wild, but definitely a BCS big boy bowl if things don’t. All they have to do is walk through the rest of the Big 10, something that doesn’t seem so difficult with mighty Wisconsin out of the way…
But that’s what I’m worried about – I mean everybody knows that, after a big emotional crazy win, teams let up a little bit, or they at least lose a little bit of that edge that go them that win in the first place. A hail mary for the win? Are you kidding me? It doesn’t get much higher than that – and college football teams struggle with that kind of emotion.
In walks Nebraska, the last dang tough team the Spartans will play in Big 10 conference ball, and I’m saying the Cornhuskers are gonna stun some folks this weekend. They’re a lower ranked favorite, can’t forget that – fits my scheme and everything!
Michigan State Spartans @ Nebraska Cornhuskers (-3.5)
I full believe in the Wisconsin Badgers. I think they could be the best team in the country with that stellar rushing attack and Russell Wilson doing work behind center. What’s most scary about the Badgers is that they don’t ask or need their quarterback to make a lot of plays, just control the ball and be safe. The problem for opponents is that he does make plays, great ones, and he is safe, as good as anyone at keeping the ball in his teams’ hands – so pick your poison, doesn’t matter, you’re in trouble.
Michigan State played pretty well last week against Michigan, proved they are a little better than I thought they were, though I did take them to win that game. Still, they aren’t Wisconsin. I don’t think they are better defensively or offensively than the Badgers, and unless some crazy things go their way, this game will be out of reach quickly.
I’m really a big fan of Russell Wilson. He may not have the size or big time upside as some of the other NFL quarterback prospects in college football, but he plays this game, the college football game, as well as any signal caller in the country. He runs the ball for big plays, he passes it as accurate as anyone – he’s the ideal guy to run this very good football team.
Wisconsin Badgers (-7) @ Michigan State Spartans
Here’s a fearsome foursome of NCAA College Football Picks for Week7. Not too many amazing match-ups this week, but a couple games that might surprise you. Good luck!
Michigan Wolverines @ Michigan State Spartans (-1.5)
This one is pretty interesting because it was Michigan that ended up taking out Notre Dame near the beginning of the season (Week 2). It was Michigan State getting trounced by Notre Dame a couple weeks earlier – so one might think the Michigan, because of that common opponent, shouldn’t have a problem with Michigan State on Saturday. Well, unfortunately it doesn’t always work like that, or this whole pick-em game would be a lot easier! What Michigan State makes up for in not having Denard Robinson is a more balanced attack – a team that doesn’t make too many mistakes. I like them to end up on top in the battle of Michigan.
Baylor Bears @ Texas A&M Aggies (-9)
Robert Griffin III is for real, but he’s not quite as good as his 19 touchdowns – 1 interception insists. Texas A&M has had a pretty disappointing start while Baylor has played out of their mind. That being well understood, I still see the Aggies as the more talented team, and I think this is a good week to come out and show what kind of team they are. Things should even out this week.
Utah Utes (+7) @ Pittsburgh Panthers
The Utes are a better football team than their record, and Pittsburgh is just about who they seem to be. Basically, these two teams are pretty even and that being so I expect a close game. even with Utah’s starting quarterback out for the season. Pittsburgh’s main offensive cog, RB Ray Graham, is a little dinged and I expect him to be slowed. Just a low-scoring close contest on the docket for today. Take the points.
South Carolina Gamecocks (-3) @ Mississippi State Bulldogs
When it comes right down to it, South Carolina might not be as good without expelled quarterback, Stephen Garcia, but they are probably more consistent. Connor Shaw can throw the ball a bit, and he doesn’t create stupid at any given moment – which is a plus. I expect a good one, but South Carolina is the better team here.
The Irish could be 2-0 heading into this week if it weren’t for some old fashioned egg-shaped-ball-bounces. Sometimes you just can’t predict where that little sucker is going to bounce! They have played very fast the first couple weeks, and Brian Kelly has my respect as a coach that really knows how to get his kids playing the right way. He seems a little bit too much of a firecracker for me, but I know he gets the kids to do what he wants. One of these weeks it’ll all come together, I just happen to think that week is now.
Michigan State Spartans @ Notre Dame Fighting Irish (-4.5)
Alabama Crimson Tide @ Michigan State Spartans Capital One Bowl Pick: This game follows one of my main rules (one I break from time to time, but mostly follow it), always take the lesser ranked favorite. The Crimson Tide become that team with their #16 overall ranking as a near double digit favorite against 9th ranked Michigan State.
Aside from fitting one of my favorite formulas, the Tide are the much better team. I guess it’s tough to argue with Michigan State’s season, they finished just a bad game away from undefeated (a 6-37 crushing at the hands of Iowa), busting through 11 teams, winning close games and blowouts alike. They beat Penn State, Wisconsin, Notre Dame, Illinois, Northwestern, and Michigan (as far as bowl teams are concerned), and they did so with a very balanced attack offensively and solid defense. They aren’t great at anything, but they can beat you plenty of ways.
Alabama is a different beast altogether. They had a bit of a disappointing season, but aside from a two-touchdown loss to South Carolina, their three-point loss at LSU and their 1-point loss to Auburn in the SEC Championship game, all they did is win. Everyone knows Alabama wasn’t aiming for a 9-3 season, but they still have a great team. They are a team with so much talent that a bowl-game should really benefit them. They’ve had a lot of time to teach their youth, a lot of time to prepare for Michigan State and become comfortable with them. Talent-wise, this game shouldn’t be close, and I don’t think it will be. Teams that out-rushed the Spartans gave them trouble, Northwestern nearly beat them, Iowa did, and Purdue gave them all they could handle. Look for Alabama to win by 2-3 touchdowns.
#16 Alabama Crimson Tide (-9.5) @ #9 Michigan State Spartans
Minnesota Golden Gophers @ Michigan State Spartans Pick & Preview: For being a 1-8 football team, the Golden Gophers have an impressive sub-12 point differential through 9 games. Sure, they are just 3-6 ATS, but the 25 point spreads have been few and far between. In fact, only twice this season have the Gophers been 20 point dogs, they lost 10-52 to Ohio State, then lost 23-41 and covered against Wisconsin. My math might not always be perfect, but my judgment of football teams is pretty solid. I will say that Michigan State is a lot more like Wisconsin than they are like Ohio State. Minnesota lost by 11 to USC, 1 to Northwestern, 18 to Wisconsin, 9 to Purdue, and 12 to Penn State. They may be 1-8, but they are a tough 1-8 team.
Michigan State will come out of last week’s drumming at the hands of Iowa one of two ways, either they’ll have a new sense of motivation and push (unlikely) or they’ll come out of the gates a little slow after their National Title hopes came to a tumbling halt (more likely). A slow start in a game like this, a 25 point spread game, goes a long ways in making a cover happen.
The Golden Gophers have put up a lot of passing yards so far this season, and Michigan State has shown a little bit more of a struggle against heavy passing teams. They failed to cover in both games where they were out-passed – something that could very well happen this Saturday.
I’ll take all those glorious points.
Minnesota Golden Gophers (+24.5) @ #14 Michigan State Spartans
NCAA Picks REVIEW for Week 9 2010 College Football: The NCAA’s (and picks as a whole for that matter) haven’t been getting me any brownie points out there, but remember, I’ve always been a winner and I’m still holding strong on the season. This week I fought and scratched to a 6-5-2 record as the big games made me look brilliant, while the early week tilts got me down, and the pushes that needed to be wins assured me a fairly mediocre record. Still, one game in the green this week, this is how it went down.
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (+35) @ Boise State Broncos (WIN)
A late addition to my picks, I grabbed the Bulldogs as a nice big dog at Boise. They held true, showing a decent defense at times, holding the Broncos to just 49 points (haha) while scoring 20 of their own. Just enough…
#16 Florida State Seminoles (-3.5) @ NC State Wolfpack (Loss)
The Wolfpack came out and got the Seminoles in a big Thursday Night game for both schools. FSU didn’t play very well and NC State tossed the ball around the Seminoles secondary to win by a touchdown.
West Virginia Mountaineers (-6) @ Connecticut Huskies (Loss)
The Huskies came out tough and fought the Mounties all night, eventually winning in overtime with a field goal after West Virginia coughed the ball up on their fist possession.
Northwestern Wildcats (-3) @ Indiana Hoosiers (PUSH)
Dang pushes always breaking my balls.
Tennessee Volunteers @ #20 South Carolina Gamecocks (-17) (Loss)
Oh, those pesky Volunteers did just enough, losing by 14 and covering by a field goal. South Carolina didn’t play very well, and if they don’t step it up they are getting pounded next week.
#5 Michigan State Spartans @ #18 Iowa Hawkeyes (-6) (WIN)
It looked like a tough spread, but in the end it was the Spartan’s time to let go of those undefeated BCS buster dreams. Iowa was the better team. They shellacked the Spartans.
#6 Missouri Tigers @ #14 Nebraska Cornhuskers (-5) (WIN)
Nebraska didn’t quite dominate the Tigers like Iowa did to the Spartans, but it certainly was enough. Aside from one donkey game, the Cornhuskers have been pretty dang good this season, and they proved their worth by defeating the undefeated.
Florida Gators @ Georgia Bulldogs (-3) (Loss)
Another game that went to overtime and ended in the wrong end of my book. The sportsbooks got me again. Florida snapped a field goal through the uprights to win it by 3.
#1 Auburn Tigers (-7) @ Mississippi Rebels (WIN)
After walking out of the first quarter tied at 14, the Tigers did some very bad things to the Rebels. It was 34-17 at the half, and 44-17 after 3 quarters. Are the Ducks and Tigers on an offensive explosion collision course? At least that would be a little salve to the wound of Boise and TCU (or Utah) being shut out again.
Washington State Cougars (+21.5) @ Arizona State Sun Devils (Loss)
The Cougars finally lost me one, getting dominated by an underrated Sun Devil’s defense. I might go back to the well next week, anyway – and heck, I might pick ASU as well.
#13 Stanford Cardinal (-7) @ Washington Huskies (WIN)
Free money came true. I hope you enjoyed your winnings here.
#2 Oregon Ducks (-7) @ USC Trojans (WIN)
USC put up a fight, but they just couldn’t cut it in the end. But who can? Nobody thus far.
Michigan Wolverines (-2) @ Penn State Nittany Lions (Loss)
My cousin goes to Michigan, but I promise I’m not biased. I thought Denard Robinson would dominate this game and that Penn State would really struggle to put up enough points. Well, I was right about Robinson – he nearly hit 400 yards and was responsible for 4 total TDs- what I forgot was how bad Michigan’s defense is. Penn State didn’t forget, and they threw up 41 on the Wolverines to get a 10 point win.
Michigan State Spartans @ Iowa Hawkeyes College Football Pick: I know they got me last week, but the Spartans should have lost and bucked the should-have to get the win and the cover – which really killed me. They sit at 8-0 on the season, but in one heck of a dangerous spot – they are going into Iowa to play the Hawkeyes, a very good team with a good defense that got plucked by one point last week against Wisconsin. They will be all in for this one. Michigan State is fighting a couple big time betting trends that I always love to bet against. First and foremost, they should have lost last week. I watched a lot of the game, and they needed a 21-3 fourth quarter to pull out of Northwestern with a win. They are also the higher ranked team and a pretty nice-sized underdog – that usually bodes well for the favorite – in this case, the Hawkeyes.
I think Michigan State isn’t as good as their record insists, and the Hawkeyes, well, they are a couple plays away from 8-0 themselves. I see them as the better team in a better emotional place with the home field in their advantage.
That’s a lot going for them, and even though they have to cover a 6-point spread, I think they can handle it. The Spartans are bound to struggle against the best defense they’ve played all season long, and the Hawkeyes are expected to play better than they did last week against Wisconsin.
#5 Michigan State Spartans @ #18 Iowa Hawkeyes (-6)
Michigan State Spartans @ Northwestern Wildcats NCAA Week 8: So far, all Northwestern has done is go 5-1 in the same conference that Michigan State and Michigan and Ohio State are in. They’ve won a lot of close games, but their close loss to Purdue last week knocked them from the ranks of the unbeaten and they still aren’t ranked by the coaches or the associated press. No respect.
The Wildcats really haven’t been tested by a good team. The best team they’ve played thus far is probably Purdue, and they lost. Still, the Wildcats haven’t been tested – the Boilermakers aren’t all that good anyway.
But Northwestern is underrated, and that’s the key here. Sure, they have a loss, and sure, they’re going up against the undefeated Top 10 Michigan State Spartans football team with big wins over Wisconsin, Michigan, and Notre Dame.
What I like about Northwestern here is they are playing at home, where they are usually pretty good. While Michigan State hasn’t toughed out any gritty wins, they’ll have to if they want to win this one. At 6-0, the Spartans have gone through their fair share of trouble. Wisconsin played them tough and Notre Dame took them into overtime. But this just seems like a good week for them to slip up. Underrated opponent, check. Undefeated thus far and looking to the future, check and maybe check. On the road, check. It has the makings, I’ll take the home team and the points.
Michigan State Spartans @ Northwestern Wildcats (+5.5)