Friday, September 30, 2011

Cinq Pour Samedi

I must warn anyone who is thinking of using my respectable record thus far as justification for taking my picks to the bookie. October is here, and so is playoff baseball, which means I might watch one college football game a week in earnest. Oh well, bettor beware I suppose. Home teams in CAPS.

Texas A&M (-2.5) over ARKANSAS (neutral site - Cowboys Stadium)
It is technically a home game in Arlington, TX for the Razorbacks, but in actuality this should turn out to be an Aggies party. The Hogs were outclassed by Alabama last week, while A&M had a more respectable showing (albeit, still a losing one) against Oklahoma State. Despite the karma of Arkansas playing at JerryWorld and making the day of one of their proudest alums, the Texas A&M defense should be more than enough to cover this one.

SOUTH CAROLINA (-10) over Auburn
The ol' Ballcoach must be salivating over the chance to let loose on Auburn's miserable pass defense. I picked against the Gamecocks last week because they tend to play down to their opponents, but this is a chance to avenge last year's two losses to Auburn, and despite the Tigers being Cam Newton-less these days, I still think that means something. Even Stephen (see what I did there?) Garcia should make a day of it early, then Marcus Lattimore can put it away late. South Carolina by two touchdowns.

VIRGINIA TECH (-7) over Clemson
Thanks to two straight big wins by Clemson, the line here is quite manageable. I have a feeling that the pendulum will swing back in the other direction for the Tigers in Blacksburg, which is still an extremely tough place to play, especially for ACC opponents. Until the tradition is bucked, ride Beamerball and Virginia Tech's in-conference success. Oh, and the Hokies' stellar defense doesn't hurt either.

Alabama (-3.5) over FLORIDA
It takes a lot for someone to back a road favorite in a night game at The Swamp, but for my money Alabama is still the best team in the country and Florida is still maybe a year away from getting back to the top of the mountain. Either way, this game should be close-fought and relatively low-scoring, but wholly entertaining all the while. Something has to give in this meeting of potent offenses and suffocating defenses. My gut says the Tide pull out a late touchdown drive and take it by a score along the lines of 17-10.

Nebraska (+10) over WISCONSIN
The line here is a bit fishy, almost so high that you have to take Wisconsin just because. The Badgers hold the edge in most statistical categories and have the atmosphere under the lights at Camp Randall Stadium on their side, but are they really 10 points better than Nebraska? I understand that Russell Wilson has the ability to take this game over by himself, but if he doesn't, there's no reason that Bo Pelini's Cornhuskers can't keep this a one-score game in Madison.

Last Week: 3-2-0
Season: 11-8-1

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