Last week I thought I did pretty good. My record was 5-3.
Analysis of Last Week's Picks
48 Ohio State/7 Northwestern----Yep that NW team is suuure consistent.
41 Michigan/14 Indiana----Michigan beat Indiana! No way!
35 Clemson/14 Florida State----I can't believe this one. Bobby got whooped.
35 USC/10 California----This was suppose to be an upset? HA!
16 LSU/13 Alabama OT----I hit this on the nose. Offense would ultimately choose the victor.
30 South Carolina/22 Florida----Auburn is better than we all thought. Nice away win.
31Auburn/30 Georgia----Wow. I mean I never thought Spurrier would actually pull this off.
20 Iowa/10 Wisconsin---- I was right about this one. Barry loses home finale.
Here's my picks for this week of intense grudge matches...
9 Ohio State Buckeyes @ 17 Michigan Wolverines
Story: The Buckeyes offense has been rolling these last few weeks. Troy Smith is finally becoming that quarterback Buckeye fans have been dreaming about. Michigan seems to have turned there season around after falling to 3-3 earlier in the year.
Matchup to Watch For: Troy Smith vs. Michigan DL. Troy Smith leads the Big Ten with an astounding passer rating of 160.27. He has already tossed 13 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. As productive as he's been, he'll be going against a rejuvenated Wolverine DL. In order to stop Troy Smith the Michigan defensive line has to force him to pass, and not let him scramble to the outside for huge gains. If Troy Smith is forced to throw more, the offense of Columbus will be greatly weakened.
Prediction: When these 2 teams play it is always a classic. In my mind, the greatest rivalry in sports will be yet another epic tale. The Buckeyes offense is looking mighty fine, and the Wolverines are doing pretty well after that awful start to the season. None the less, the game rests on Troy Smith's shoulders. This is a tough one, but I think Wolverines win because of the inexperience Troy Smith has in playing in hostile environments.
UM 26 OSU 17
8 Alabama Crimson Tide @ 11 Auburn Tigers
Story: I don't think the Iron Bowl has been this close of a matchup in a while. The Tide are coming off an emotioinal loss in which there dreams of a National Championship were shattered. (Geaux Tigers!) Auburn on the other hand, is coming on an impressive win @ Georgia.
Matchup to Watch For: Brodie Croyle vs. Auburn D. How will Croyle respond after a devastating loss to LSU? His play will dictate the mood of the team. Croyle will be going against yet another top SEC defense. If Auburn is able to get the penetration on Croyle like the Tigers did than you can expect an Auburn win.
Prediction: Alabama is still bummed out about that LSU loss, but none the less the team will be ready to play in the Iron Bowl. Problem is, Alabama is going against a very underrated Auburn team. Auburn is coming off a big win, while Bama is coming off a tough loss. Do the math.
Auburn 29 Alabama 20
5 Penn State Nittany Lions @ Michigan State Spartans
Story: I'll admit I thought Joe Pa was done. I thought we should have retired 4 years ago. The coach still has it. He is one win aways from a BCS game. One game. He'll be going against a disappointing MSU team. Hopefully Paterno is aware that many refer to the Spartans as the Spoilers.
Matchup to Watch For: Michigan State D vs. Penn State offense. Yes, that is a vague matchup to watch for, but this Spartans D is horrendous. MSU is giving up about 30 points per game. Most wins for this club are offensive shootouts. The Spartans are going to have to stop a Penn State offense putting up 36 points a game! Oh dear, oh dear...
Prediction: We all know how the Spartans are the Spoilers, but not Saturday. Penn State a focused ball club with an explosive offense and a hard hitting defense. More importantly, is the fact that the Spartans don't have a defense.
PSU 41 MSU 21
Oregon State Beavers @ 10 Oregon Ducks
Story: The Ducks are the most popular one loss team that nobody knows about. After their loss to USC, Oregon has slowly been creeping back up the rankings. If they can win the Civil War game against arch rival Oregon State, then the possibility of an Oregon BCS bowl is very likely.
Matchup to Watch For: Dennis Dixon vs. the Beavers D. Dixon is taking over for Kellen Clemens who suffered a season ending injury. Dixon showed great potential when he drove the Ducks down for a winning score against Washington State last week. Dixon can really get going as he will be taking on a defense giving up an average of 30 points per game. Oregon State is already a big underdog, but if they can't disrupt Dixon's timing at all then it will be a long day for Coach Riley.
Prediction: I want to say the Beavers pull out the upset, but the game is in Eugene. Oregon is an even better football team at Autzen Stadium. Besides, Oregon State hasn't won at Autzen since 1993.
Oregon 44 Oregon State 28
Clemson Tigers @ 19 South Carolina Gamecocks
Story: Coach Spurrier is coming off a win against his former team. Gamecocks are looking good right now. Once again, Clemson is the team nobody understands, once again. Last week I had them losing to Florida State. I still am shocked on the convincing win Coach Bowden handed to his dad.
Matchup to Watch For: Charlie Whitehurt vs. the South Carolina D. My friend Jonny Mahoney tells me, "Charlie Whitehurt has the prettiest pass in college football." Mr. Whitehurst has fallen off the map since the disappointing season he had last year. Whitehurst is now back on the map with an impressive FSU win. His stats were 21/32 269 yards and 2 TDs. To make matters even worse for Spurrier's D, Whitehurst is 3-0 against the Gamecocks and has thrown for 740 yards, 4 TDs, and 2 INTs. All in all, look for Spurrier to once again throw some surprises at the Clemson offense.
Prediction: This is a big rivarly and the Gamecocks frankly haven't been winning in it much. Huge win last week for both universities. The Gamecocks are hot right now, and aren't inconsistent like Clemson.
South Carolina 31 Clemson 28
4 LSU Tigers @ Mississippi Rebels
Story: The Tigers are coming of an amazing win that shattered Alabama's hopes of a National Championship. LSU controls their own destiny to Atlanta. As for Ole Miss they haven't had nearly the type of season they anticipated. Perfect ingredients for an upset?
Matchup to Watch For: Ethan Flatt vs. LSU D. Ethan is the latest QB for the Rebels. He'll quickly be under the spotlight as his goes against a Bayou Bengal defense that is a force to be reckoned with.
Prediction: LSU just had an emotional victory against the Crimson Tide. The Rebels just might be able to pull off the upset of the season. This a big rivalry and destroying LSU's SEC Championship hopes would be a thrill for the people of Oxford. Though, Ole Miss has a new QB under center and they have only scored over 20 points this season once. (Vanderbilt)
LSU 31 Ole Miss 14
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets @ 3 Miami (FL) Hurricanes
Story: The Hurricanes have slowly climbed up to #3 in the BCS. A USC or Texas loss and Miami Florida will get it's shot at the Rose Bowl. They are battling a GTech team that has been very unpredictable throughout the season.
Matchup to Watch For: Reggie Ball vs. Hurricane D. Reggie Ball has completed a mere 47% of his passes. He has taken a step back from his great success last year. Ball will be going against the best defense in the ACC. Reggie Ball + A Hungry Hurricane D= Trouble!
Prediction: Miami Florida looked like they were going to slip against the Demon Deacons last week. Coker's team which was down 17-14 turned the game around and won 47-17. They'll be focused come Saturday.
Miami Florida 45 Georgia Tech 19
16 Fresno State Bulldogs @ 1 USC Trojans
Story: It's going to happen, right? USC hasn't lost in 779 days, but they will be facing an underrated Fresno State football team. The Bulldogs only loss this season was to Oregon. In order to pull off the upset of a lifetime Pat Hill will have to find a way to stop the 3-headed monster known only as Matt LenDale Bush.
Matchup to Watch For: Paul Pinegar vs. USC D. He came in after David Carr and was said to be better. He currently has thrown 18 TDs and 5 INTs this season. He leads an offense averaging over 40 points a game. Despite his impressive college career, that will be nothing if he doesn't come to play against the Trojans. If this upset is going to happen Mr. Pinegar can't play a good game or a great game. He has to play an unforgettable game.
Prediction: Yes this looks like an upset in the making into you realize that USC is the team some think might lose. They won't. Why? Matt Leinert is such a tremendous leader and athlete who makes plays game in and game out. Oh and there is also that unstoppable RB who seems to average a TD every blink of an eye. Sorry Bulldog fans, but it ain't happening.
USC 48 Fresno State 23
Saturday, November 19, 2005
Last week I thought I did pretty good. My record was 5-3.