In an interesting sequence of picks, it turns out I’m taking the away team in 8 of my 11 games. Every week losers like the Buffaloes and Cardinal should continue down the path of winlessness, while the Trojans (Of USC – not Troy), Bulldogs, Eagles, and Buckeyes will resume their trot toward perfection. I’m still a game under .500 going into week 4, but something tells me I’ll have my head held high when the 4th week of play is over and done with. Just call me Nostradamus.
USC Trojans (-20) @ Arizona Wildcats: 42-21, 49-9, 45-0… Those are the last three scores in the USC – Arizona match-up. This isn’t the NCAA Champion Trojan team, but they are still one damn good squad looking to take advantage of yet another porous Pac 10 program. After big wins over non-conference powers Arkansas and Nebraska, an nice easy Pac 10 thrashing is in the cards for the Trojans. Let the smack down begin.
Troy Trojans (+21) @ Nebraska Cornhuskers: These Trojans aren’t quite the squad the USC team is, but they’ll put up a fight. 21 points is too many, as Troy isn’t nearly as bad as Nicholls State and Louisiana Tech. Troy’s defense is solid, as they showed in close games against Florida State and Georgia Tech. Nebraska will have their hands full.
Alabama Crimson Tide @ Arkansas Razorbacks (-2): 6 of the last 8 times these two teams have met; the home team comes out victorious. As far as talent level, these two teams are quite even. Arkansas’ rushing attack is better than Alabama’s which should give them the edge at home. Arkansas has beaten the spread in each of the last 3 games against ‘Bama.
Boston College Eagles (-6.5) @ North Carolina State: BC beat the Wolfpack last season 30-10, and NC State was better then. Boston College has had too many close calls early this season, but if they’re learning one thing, they’re learning to win. That starts to stick with you and soon, like this weekend for instance, the Eagles will start to believe in themselves 100%. That should help them dominate an inferior NC State team.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish (-4) @ Michigan State Spartans: I promised I wouldn’t pick anymore Irish games because they are all over the charts, but I’ve got to take them against Michigan State despite better judgement. The way I see it, the Irish struggle against defensive powers, and State can’t stop anyone. Without a rush to stop the mighty Quinn, the Spartans will have a tough time against ND.
Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders (+29) @ Oklahoma Sooners: At first glance you might think I’m crazy for taking MTSU against the Oklahoma Sooners. This could backfire, as it seems Adrian Peterson has regained his Heisman form after a 150 yard 4th quarter against Oregon, but I think the Raiders will stick in there with the Sooners. Oklahoma hasn’t beaten anybody by more than 17 points, and that game against Washington was closer than the score indicated. Oklahoma will win, but not by more than 4 touchdowns.
Florida International Golden Panthers (+19) @ Maryland Terrapins: FLINT? That town in Michigan? No, the football team in Florida. I know, at 0-3, they don’t look like a solid bet, but if you look closer; they’ve lost all 3 by a combined 7 point margin. It doesn’t always translate, but they lost to MTSU by 1 point, and Maryland just snuck by the Blue Raiders. Expect a good game in Maryland.
Colorado Buffaloes @ Georgia Bulldogs (-26): The Buffs have 3 losses in 3 tries, including an opening day loss to the D1-AA Montana State team that shouldn’t be on the field with D1-A programs. To put it nicely, Colorado will be lucky to hold the Bulldogs under 45 points. And honestly, scoring on Georgia is completely out of the question. I fully expect the Bulldogs defense to outscore Colorado’s offense. Never a good sign for Buff supporters.
Washington State Cougars (-9.5) @ Stanford Cardinal: The Cougars are just flat out better than the Cardinal. Washington State is 2-1, beating a crappy Idaho team and a pretty good Baylor squad, while getting poked 40-14 by Auburn. The Auburn game was closer than the score. All in all, Stanford is just flat out pathetic. They’ve lost all three contests, one by 28, one by 38, and a 1-point loss to San Jose State of all teams. The Cougs aren’t a power, but they’ll look like a National Champ hopeful against the smart kids from Calli.
Ohio State Buckeyes (-16.5) @ Penn State Nittany Lions: I’m looking for the Buckeyes to go 4-0 against the spread this season while atoning for last years’ loss to the Nittany Lions. Penn State really struggled with their last quality opponent, (Notre Dame) and this Ohio State club is the best team in the Nation. The Lions might be able to stay close early, but they have nobody to guard Ted Ginn Jr and Anthony Gonzalez. Expect a blowout after the Buckeyes got the scare they needed early in last week’s contest.
Arizona State Sun Devils @ California Bears (-7): In a game that always boasts a marquee Pac 10 match-up, the outcome never seems to be close. Cal has won the last 3 contests by a combined score of 133 to 61. The favorite almost always wins, and only twice in the last 10 years has the outcome been closer than 7 points. These are two quality programs, but it won’t equal out, as the Bears will down the Devils for the 4th time in a row.