Saturday, October 23, 2010

Cinq Pour Samedi

My ability to keep my head well above water with the NCAA picks just goes to show that sometimes the more you know, the worse off you can be, and vice versa. You know the drill. All games are on Saturday, and home teams are in CAPS.

WEST VIRGINIA (-13.5) over Syracuse

While the 'Cuse has shown signs of life this year, they've lost to West Virginia eight straight years
(and only one of those games was decided by single digits) and should not have an easy time in Morgantown against a Mountaineer team with 9 days of rest. WVU does not run many scores up so I'm a bit cautious about laying 13.5 here, but they play too well at home for me to go any other way.

IOWA (-6) over Wisconsin
What I like about this game (besides the fact that it features two good teams) is that you can't play the tired "this team is coming off a big win last week" card, since it applies to both teams. Wisconsin won in typical Wisconsin fashion last week against Ohio State, by running for over 180 yards and completing 13 of just 16 passes. Iowa is going to try to beat the Badgers at their own game this week, but when push comes to shove the Hawkeyes have the more well-rounded offense and can put this one out of reach late, something like 24-14.

OKLAHOMA STATE (+6) over Nebraska
Shame on me for chugging the Nebraska Kool-Aid last week. OK State plays a wide-open brand of football that has them averaging 49.5 points a game (granted, much of the Big 12 has an NBA All-Star Game approach to defense, but still), and faces possibly the stiffest test it will have all season against the Cornhuskers. We'll see just how good Oklahoma State is here, but I think they can put enough points on the board to stay close at least. And hell, at least one football team named the Cowboys has to be able to put together a good game.

AUBURN (-5.5) over LSU
I still don't totally buy LSU even though I made the bonehead pick a few weeks ago when they faced a Florida team that was playing on one leg. Auburn is a much stronger 7-0 than LSU right now and has Cameron Newton in the middle of the still-too-soon Heisman talk. Less than a touchdown isn't too many points to give here.

Alabama (-16.5) over TENNESSEE
This smells like a classic "get healthy" game for Nick Saban and Alabama after losing two weeks ago to South Carolina and playing a tighter game than expected last week against Ole Miss. The Tide have the fortune of timing their loss fairly well, in that Ohio State coughed up the #1 ranking immediately after they did - meaning that if Oregon ever loses it would put a one-loss Alabama team right back in the BCS and AP mix. Tennessee has already gotten its doors blown off at home this year, and judging by its 41-14 loss to Georgia two weeks ago, has not been able to build on the 59 minutes of solid football they played at LSU.

Last Week: 2-3-0
Season: 20-12-3

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