This week shapes up to be another great one in College Football. Saturday’s slate includes three matchups of teams in the top 15 and plenty of hard-hitting divisional action. ESPN selected the top ten matchups for its College Pick’Em game. Each week throughout the season I’ve given you my picks and confidence level in those pickes; check below for this week’s selections.
Last week, my entry did ok scoring 48 points, but it was the QuirkMichael entry that took the week in our FantasyCPR group (click here for invitation). QuirkMichael got all the games right giving him 247 points on the season. Our overall leader is “Josh Black M2″ who only missed his one-point pick when K-State dropped WVU leaving his with 339 on the year after an impressive 54 last week.
Here’s the picks I’m rolling with for Saturday:
1 point-Notre Dame over Oklahoma: In a big primtime showdown in Norman the #5 Fighting Irish take on the #8 Sooners. Notre Dame’s calling card all year has been their incredible defense which will face a stiff test from Landry Jones and the Sooners offense. Oklahoma is favored by an incredibly high 11.5 points which must be mostly from their homefield advantage. They are typically unbeatable at home especially against ranked teams, but they did drop a game to K-State in Norman earlier this year. It’s a tough pick, but I think Brian Kelly and Manti Te’o get the job done and add another big win to their resume.
2 points-BYU over Georgia Tech: BYU’s defense will also get a big test as they come off a defeat at the hands of Notre Dame and head to Georgia Tech to face a Yellow Jackets offense that ranks third in the country in rushing and 24th in average points scored. BYU’s defense should be able to shut down the one-dimensional attack though. They held ND to 17 but lost 17-14 last week and lost 7-6 to then-#24 Boise State earlier this year. The Cougars are looking for their first road win, but Georgia Tech has already dropped home games against Miami (Fl), and Middle Tennessee so I think BYU gets it done this weekend.
3 points-Michigan over Nebraska: The Wolverines defense has been playing well allowing fewer than 10 points a game and just 23 points combined in three conference matchups. Denard Robinson isn’t playing at an elite level, but if he avoids costly turnovers Michigan should get a big road win against a Nebraska team that was pummelled by Ohio State 63-38 two weeks ago and barely eked out a win at Northwestern. This should be an good matchup and an entertaining game to watch either way.
4 points-Ohio State over Penn State: Speaking of good Big 10 matchups, Ohio State has to go into Happy Valley this week in a matchup of postseason ineligible teams. Braxton Miller is expected to start for the Buckeyes even after a scary hit last week, and I think he makes the difference for OSU in this one (not exactly going out on a limb saying that about a guy who accounts for 67% of the offense). The Nittany Lions have realed off five straight wins after opening the season 0-2, but I think the Buckeyes will end that streak and stay undefeated.
5 points-Northwestern over Iowa: Northwestern couldn’t hold on last week against Nebraska at home and will host the Hawkeyes in another Big 10 matchup. Iowa lost at home last week as well falling to Penn State 38-14. Iowa got a big road win in their only true road game of the season at Michigan State, but Northwestern should return to a more run-based attack and hopefully return to the win column as well.
6 points- Wisconsin over Michigan State: Montee Ball looks like Montee Ball again averaging 176 yards in his first three games this month. He and the Badgers will face a tough Spartan defense, but MSU has lost three conference games already this year falling at Michigan last week and losing at home to Ohio State and Iowa in close low-scoring games. I expect the same again in this one, but will take the physical Badgers run-game to carry the da at home in Camp Randall.
7 points-Oregon State over Washington: The Beavers got off to a late start after their opener was postponed against Nicholls State. They have the look of a legit contender having knocked off Wisconsin and UCLA in their first two games. They won the last two weeks without starting QB Sean Mannion who is expected to return in this one. The Huskies have shown they’re no pushover at home with a 3-1 record including knocking off then #8 Stanford on Thursday Night a few weeks ago. Washington though has lost their last three since that win by a combined score of 128-52 and Oregon State should be able to take care of business on the road. Be careful though, there is rain in the forecast (as usual) which could make this real interesting.
8 points-Florida over Georgia: The Gators have proven themselves to be a tough physical team that has what it takes to win on the road. While this game is officially a road game, this ones in Jacksonville at Everbank Field where the Gators can lock up a spot in the conference title game with a win over Georgia. The Gator’s defense and rushing game have carried them to a 7-0 start as they face Georgia. The Bulldogs were cruising early in the year but have struggled their last three games- first against Tennessee at home then they got trounced by South Carolina before edging Kentucky last week. Florida looks like the real deal and since this isn’t a true road game they should be able to knock off Georgia.
9 points-Kansas State over Texas Tech: The Wildcats emerged onto the national scene in a big way last week as they went to Morgantown and rolled over the Mountaineers. Now they return home for a tough game against Texas Tech who improved to 6-1 by beating TCU in triple OT a week after their own West Virginia win. I think K-State is markedly better than TCU so should be able to get the win at home in Manhattan.
10 points- USC over Arizona: USC heads south to take on the Wildcats in a Pac-12 matchup. Arizona snapped its three-game losing streak last week against Washington but now has to host a USC team that has won four in a row since losing at Stanford to spoil its perfect season. The Trojans offense can put up points and the Wildcats are one of the worst teams in the country against the pass. In a high-scoring shootout, I think SC’s D will make enough stops to take down RichRod and the Wildcats.