Well, 7-6 this week for my college football picks, not great but at least I finished up. I had a couple really tough games that I really feel should have covered, Cal against WSU, Army turning into a fumbling problem against Rutgers and falling just short of a cover, and Duke straight dukeing me with their 4 point win as a 4.5 point favorite. Ugh. But like I said, I had more wins than losses despite some tough games – can’t hate that too much. Here’s my review.
Oklahoma Sooners (-7.5) @ Kansas Jayhawks: (WINNER) “This is one of those fantastic situations that shows you how much Top 25 rankings really mean. The Sooners are missing at least 2 First Round NFL Draft picks, one of which won the Heisman Trophy last season, Sam Bradford, and was pretty universally listed as the Top NFL Prospect in all the land heading into the season. They are heading into 6-1, 21st ranked Kansas to play the Jayhawks, and who’s favored? The Sooners, by a touchdown, and get ready for this, they are a good bet. Rankings are a joke, it’s too bad they mean anything at all. I’ll take the unranked road favorites here. Believe it.” And the Sooners killed Kansas, weird. Rankings… JOKE!
Washington State Cougars @ California Golden Bears (-35): (LOSS) This one should have been a cover, easily, but the Bears fell asleep, and lightening struck, all in the same 5 minute portion of this game. After WSU threw a 68 yard touchdown pass, Cal did absolutely nothing as promptly as possible on the next series, giving WSU just enough time to toss another TD before the half. In the 2nd half, the Bears had no reason to hurry, they scored just enough to not get a cover, I hate both these teams. There it is.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights @ Army Black Knights (+10): (LOSS) A great thing about Army is that they rarely turn the ball over. They don’t make dumb throws, they run the ball hard and gain yardage the tough way. And they did that on Friday Night, they just couldn’t hold onto the ball. A couple tough fumbles stopped drives deep in Rutgers territory, and Army doesn’t have a chance if that happens. Playing from behind – not their strength. Still it was just 20-10 after three quarters, and Army definitely had their chances to cover. Rutgers did enough, and I got the loss.
Oregon Ducks (-8.5) @ Washington Huskies: (WINNER) This one was just too easy. In fact, take this advice, if the Huskies are facing a prolific rushing attack, they are a great fade! Oregon mauled the Dogs, and I was pretty impressed with everything the Ducks did offensively in the second half. In the first half this one was close, but they took to running the ball and finding wide open places in play action, never looking back after an early 3rd quarter score.
Iowa Hawkeyes (+2) @ Michigan State Spartans: (WINNER) “The Hawkeyes have gotten by in ugly fashion, sure, and they are probably due for a loss, but their fights have shown me how resilient they are, and that alone is worth a small bet to me, especially against a Spartan team that is also due to have a tough go of it after three straight wins. Against my normal system play (unrated favorite over ranked dog is almost always a bet on the favorite) but I like Iowa’s chances on the road.” Obviously the Hawkeyes probably have no place in the Top 5 in the Nation, but they do find a way to win, and while it is almost always ugly, there’s something to be said about getting a win despite all odds against you. This was what I expected it to be, to the last minute, the one where Iowa got the W.
Penn State Nittany Lions (-4) @ Michigan Wolverines: (WINNER) “In two games against decent teams this season (Iowa and Michigan State) the Wolverines were out-gained in total yardage. They lost both of those games. Penn State has out-gained every single opponent they’ve played so far this season. I’m just saying.” It’s things like this, that when I find them, it makes me wish I could find that great statistic headed into every match-up. Some teams need that ball control to win games, the Wolverines need to keep their defense off the field. If you out-gain them, you have a great chance of winning. Easy victory here.
Boston College Golden Eagles (+8) @ Notre Dame Fighting Irish Free Pick: (WINNER) The Eagles struggle when teams have the ability to run the ball with speed and power. That’s not the Irish. Sure, they have some talent, and some big boys up front, but when it comes right down to it, they are a foo-foo offense that likes to throw the ball when going gets tough, or right off the bat for that matter. That should allow the discipline Golden Eagles to stay in this game, and cover that 8 point spread against a Irish team with a defense that just can’t get stops. ND might win, with the luck of the Irish and all, but I like the Eagles to cover.
Florida State Seminoles (+3) @ North Carolina Tar Heels: (WINNER) Florida State made it tough, getting stymied early in this one, struggling offensively, and not stopping the Heels when they needed to. But all evened out in the second half, and that electric Seminole offense that I expected to play well got it together in just enough time to win outright in Carolina, giving me a much needed Thursday Night victory.
South Florida Bulls (+7) @ Pittsburgh Panthers: (LOSS) “The Panthers don’t blow good teams out, they aren’t that kid of squad.” One way or another, I was certainly wrong here, maybe every way possible, hell, I don’t know. Pittsburgh is either a lot better than I thought, the Bulls are not as good as I thought, the cards didn’t fall the way I expected, or all three of those things were infinitely true in this one. Either way, I lose, the Panthers jumped all over the Bulls early, and my quote haunts me…
Arkansas Razorbacks (+6.5) @ Mississippi Rebels: (LOSS) Arkansas had their chances to keep this game close, and even more chances to get back in it, but they never could make that stop, and Jevan Snead was on his game on Saturday. The Razorbacks couldn’t move the ball at all in the 4th quarter, and found it increasingly difficult to get off the field on defense. This is the Ole Miss team people expected to see through the first 7 weeks… Nice of them to show up here.
UConn Huskies (+7.5) @ West Virginia Mountaineers: (WINNER) “The Connecticut Huskies are as good as any team West Virginia has played thus far, and the Mountaineers haven’t impressed me with their ability to step on the gas.” This was basically it. UConn is a pretty darn good team, and they played hard from start to finish. A lot of things West Virginia did went well, but they just don’t know how to step on it against a good team. Both teams played well, the Huskies came up a little bit short, but covered easily.
Maryland Terrapins @ Duke Blue Devils (-4.5): (LOSS) How about Duke covering easily in the 3rd quarter up 17-6, Maryland doing nothing offensively all day long – perfect. But wait, this is Duke, and I’m Lucky Lester, and Duke and Lucky Lester don’t go hand in hand. So then Dukes gives up a 67 yard touchdown pass on 3rd and 19. Seriously, they don’t write it better than this. So Duke’s up only, what, 4, yes a point not enough. But wait, Duke is driving in the 4th, in sure to score and cover zone at the 9, and what now? Oh, perfect, a Duke turnover, a 4 point win, no cover for me. Perfect freaking day, Duke wins, I bet on Duke, I lose. Ugh. By a point.
Tulsa Golden Hurricane (-7.5) @ UTEP Miners: (LOSS) Tulsa played one quarter in this game, the 3rd, and hell, maybe their single quarter of play leaked into the 4th, at which point they were up 11 and looking like they finally figured it out, and on the path to a big win and easy cover. But they forgot they had one more quarter. In that quarter, they allowed 15 points, they scored none, they not only failed to cover, but lost the game altogether. Serves them right!