Washington Huskies @ Stanford Cardinal NCAA Football Free Pick: The Stanford Cardinal have gotten me already this season, slammed me to the ground in a game where I picked against them – I actually felt like the defense they were playing against, battered, embarrassed, beaten in every facet of the game – it wasn’t nice. Yet here I am, one more time, picking against the mighty Cardinal and Andrew “Sure Thing” Luck. But I think it makes sense, because the Huskies (who’ve also spent some time beating me against the spread) can really score the football.
Keith Price is ridiculously efficient, already throwing 21 touchdowns in just 6 games, getting Washington Husky fans to forget about their Superman, Jake Locker, pretty quick. Dude only has 4 interceptions in those 6 games. That’s a pretty good ratio. The Huskies aren’t just a throwing team, oh no, they have a nice rushing attack as well with future NFLer Chris Polk. Polk has been the best offensive player at UW for the last couple years, but this season, with a much-improved offensive line, he’s really showing his ability. Or, he’s starting to get the publicity he deserves.
I know that UW can’t stop the pass very well, and that Andrew Luck is as good as it gets – but I’m not asking the Huskies to win, I’m asking them to get out there and stay within 21 points – I think they are good enough offensively to do it. And if they win, that will be awesome.
Washington Huskies (+21) @ Stanford Cardinal
TCU Horned Frogs VS Air Force Falcons NCAA Football Free Pick: To the naked eye, the Horned Frogs got whooped by an inferior team, as the Baylor Bears busted 50 points in Week 1, downing the Horned Frogs in impressive fashion. But in all reality, the Baylor Bears were a more talented team than TCU, and the win wasn’t all that surprising. I don’t think that’s going to be the case when they head over to play Air Force in Week 2.
Despite the big loss, some definite positives have to come out of that first game for the Horned Frogs. They put up 48 points without some key contributors from last season. Casey Pachall filled in for Dalton quite well, throwing 4 touchdowns to just 1 interception. TCU also ran the ball well, out rushing the Bears by 65 yards.
I like TCU to win a lot of football games this year, but in this one, I just think the Falcons are getting too much credit. They lost enough last season to make an opponent like TCU a tough one – plus the Horned Frogs are coming off a loss, something they’ll be sure to want to atone for as soon as possible.
TCU Horned Frogs (-2) VS Air Force Falcons
If you were too busy not watching terrible football in Week 1 then you probably missed what the Huskies did in their season opener against sub-division foe Eastern Washington. Since it was an instate game, you can stop arguing that “it didn’t matter” or that “it was just a lowly subdivision team, the Huskies didn’t prepare or care” – please. A lot of these kids played against each other, know of each other, even played with each other in some cases – you can bet your balls that the Huskies were excited to go out there and beat up on their high school buddies and foes. Unfortunately for them, and Husky fans, it didn’t look good.
Sure, the game ended up being a W, so at least it wasn’t an upset of epic Michigan proportions, but it was ugly. They gave up a bunch of points and barely won. What does that tell me? Well, the Huskys are still the Huskys and I’m not talking your dad’s UW squad that was a Pac 10 contender year in and year out. I’m talking about the last 5-8 years of the Huskys.
That also tells me that Hawaii has a great chance to come in and win this game. They are going to score a lot of points, because that’s what Hawaii does. I don’t think the Huskys are consistent or good enough offensively to win a shootout. Bryant Moniz threw for a bunch of touchdowns last year, and after beating Colorado easily in Week 1, I expect him to double his yardage and throw at least 3 TDs this week in Seattle.
Hawaii Warriors (+5) @ Washington Huskies
NCAA Football Free Pick Michigan Wolverines @ Ohio State Buckeyes: There is nothing about Michigan’s football team that gives them a chance to win this game. A team like Iowa, they are tough as nails and they can stick anyone – Michigan doesn’t have that. Miami didn’t win, but they had the athletes to make Ohio State work, Michigan just has one of those guys – Denard Robinson. And I’m sorry to say, Wolverines, Mr. Robinson’s neighborhood doesn’t hold up their end of the bargain, and Mr. Robinson is only one dude in an awkward sweater, he can’t take down a team like Ohio State all by himself.
Look at Michigan’s season thus far, they’re exciting, have beaten some Big 10 teams, and have gotten themselves into a bowl where they can show off Robinson’s skills. But the only “good” team the Wolverines have come close to is Iowa, and they lost by 10 there – and it probably wasn’t really that close. Michigan State and Wisconsin both handled them pretty well, and while Ohio State might not be better than those two teams, the Buckeyes certainly have the ability to push Michigan around – and that will probably translate to a cover for the Buckeyes.
Ohio State is 8-2-1 ATS this season, and 7-0 at home overall. They play better there. They haven’t had a tough schedule by any means, but since Michigan isn’t tough, they should do just fine. Cover.
Michigan Wolverines @ #8 Ohio State Buckeyes (-17)
Pittsburgh Panthers @ Connecticut Huskies NCAA Football Free Picks: There’s a lot to like about the Panthers here. They have won 3 straight games, and they’ve actually dominated those games. In 4 straight they’ve out-rushed and out-passed their competition – not always in easy feat. They really seem to be getting on track, and especially QB Tino Sunseri is playing at his highest level this season. They are 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 games, each of which they’ve out-gained their opponents offensively. They beat Louisville 20-3, Rutgers 41-21, and Syracuse 45-14 over their last three while Thursday’s opponent, UConn, lost at both Rutgers and Louisville lately – 24-27 and 0-26, shutout by the Cardinals. Like I said, there’s a lot to like about the Panthers.
But the Huskies aren’t chopped liver, they have some things working on their side, too. They’re getting points and they have shown the ability to play close games. They are playing their best defense of the season and they have made big plays when they needed them most. But most of all, they are a very good home team and on Thursday’s that advantage is a huge one. Pittsburgh hasn’t been terrible on the road, though, and momentum can be a great thing.
It’s really a tough call for me. Not as easy as it seems. That Thursday Night home field advantage can just be so good and UConn is 4-0 at home this season, upsetting West Virginia last week.
But I have to give my nod to Pittsburgh – it’s about momentum, and it’s about the way UConn got ran right over last week and lucked out with a victory anyway. They were out-gained by nearly 150 rushing yards and 136 total yards. They took the game into OT where they beat the Mountaineers at home. That huge win can push a team in the wrong direction, and I think Pittsburgh takes advantage of that – plus, they’ve just been so solid lately it’d be a crime to go against them.
Pittsburgh Panthers (-5) @ Connecticut Huskies